One year ago I came home to a five page letter in my door that would forever change the course of my life. Over the next 365 days I experienced:
I have also experienced:
So many of you have propped me up along the way. So many of you have reached out, cried, laughed and rowed.
This past weekend due to circumstances beyond my control I ended up in the last place I thought I wanted to be. Due to a chaperone malfunction The Boy and I spent 2 days and nights at the same Christian music festival that tdx was attending last year with our youth group when I received the letter.
There I was basically shadowing his footsteps from one year ago, sitting on a tarp and a lawn chair with tens of thousands of sweaty, dirty people around me listening to music at mind-blistering levels. This is where he was when he received my voice mail letting him know that I had been let in on his betrayal.
Did he feel relief that I finally knew? Or more turmoil, not because I had found out, but because he knew that I still didn't even know the entire story. Was it a concious choice of his to use TOW1 in order to get out of our marriage so he could be with TOW2? I doubt it and it didn't work anyway because I fought for our marriage until he told me definitively it was over.
And so this is where his part of the story ends.
God is surely in the details as my time at the music festival was well-timed and healing. So often when something happens in the church the youth end up in the dark because the adults around them either don't know what to say and/or don't want to talk about it. My presence with them at the festival gave them the opportunity to ask their questions and talk about their feelings. It gave an opening for conversations about marriage, depression, choices and truth. It also left a door open for future conversations.
As for The Boy and I we actually had a wonderful time together (which if you have gone camping with a three year old, you know is quite a statement!). It was affirmed once again that one of the MAJOR things that has come out of this is that I am a much better mother than I was a year ago. I am far more connected to him and to what he is doing and who he is. This is such a blessing.
There are sure to be more ups and downs as we continue to walk this road. I am bracing myself for the wedding band that I will eventually see on tdx's finger, but I know that will be hurt for missing what I thought we could be, not what we actually were.
I wrote in a previous post about processing and choices. At the concert on Friday night the special guest was someone who was popular with our generation (not so much the youth, but that's another post) and her voice and songs brought me back to dating and the early years with tdx. I basically cried through her entire set, but realized that although they were tears of sadness they were also tears of a well said good-bye. I did everything I could.
I was faithful.
I fought like hell for our marriage... and he lost.
He lost. His choice.
I came home and scrubbed off the sweat and dirt from the festival and have shaken the dust from my feet of a marriage where I was no longer wanted. Again, his choice.
No one will ever know what chain of events TOW1 really expected to set off when she sent me that letter. At this point last year everyone was reeling and tdx was still holding onto his final secret. What I am sure no one expected - least of all me - was that one year from that awful, dreadful day...
I am the better for it.